Reckless sense of ‘bravado’
Shopping for Covid?
Stupidity written in bold in all the reckless sense of ‘bravado’ and exhibited by the people with each passing day at the major shopping areas of Imphal. No doubt, Ningol Chakkouba is one of the biggest festivals of the people of Manipur, particularly the Meitei community, but to throw caution to the wind and behave as if everything is normal is nothing less than plain stupidity. Khwairamband Keithel is yet to open, and people seem to have conveniently forgotten why this place has been shut down in the first place. Even the rising number of deaths does not seem to have woken up the sensibilities of the people and this can be seen in the huge crowd at all the markets, all in the name of preparing for the coming Ningol Chakkouba festival. Go to any of the major shopping complexes and the queues outside these shopping arcades will demonstrate how safety protocols have been violated with impunity. If the recently held by elections to four Assembly Constituencies witnessed all safety measures and SOPs violated with impunity then one may say that the crowd one sees at the major market places is an extension of the ‘playground’ for the people to mingle. The unlock phase is on, and to repeat a point which has been continuously highlighted here, this does not mean that the virus has been neutralised. On the other hand, it is still very much out there waiting to infect more and more people and the huge gathering of people ahead of the Ningol Chakkouba festival is just the right opportunity for the virus to spread. On the other hand, the number of deaths and the number of infection continue to rise and if the report of 200 deaths due to COVID-19 does not jolt the senses of the people, then the situation can only get worse.
Another lockdown seems to be out of the question, with the Prime Minister himself assuring that there will not be another one, and the question is what needs to be done now ? Containment zone, locality wise is one approach that may be followed, with Thangmeiband being the first leikai in Imphal to have come under the containment zone. The Government may explore this option and minutely study which leikai or locality should come under the containment zone in the coming days. With already 200 dead and positive cases nearing the 21 thousand mark, things look bad. And remember winter has already set in and with experts warning that the virus will get more active in the winter chill, nothing can be left to chance. This is where the responsibility of each and everyone becomes more and more crucial in the battle against coronavirus. Now with the BJP riding high with its excellent show in the recent by elections, one hopes that the full attention of the Government is drawn back to working out plans to control the spread of the virus. Reviving economic activity is no doubt crucial for the land and the people, yet at the same time, going back to economic activities should not mean exposing the people to further spread of the virus. Open shops, go out shopping, but do that with a sense of responsibility. Maintain social distancing and not unnecessarily crowd a place. In as much as medical science is needed to take the fight to the virus, it also stands that discipline of the people is vital. Adhering to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), should not be such a tough thing to do, provided the people are sensitive enough. At the moment, the reality is disturbing with many seemingly ‘shopping for the virus that causes COVID-19’.